Investigation of phononic crystals for dispersive surface acoustic wave ozone sensors
Westafer, Ryan S.
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The object of this research was to investigate dispersion in surface phononic crystals (PnCs) for application to a newly developed passive surface acoustic wave (SAW) ozone sensor. Frequency band gaps and slow sound already have been reported for PnC lattice structures. Such engineered structures are often advertised to reduce loss, increase sensitivity, and reduce device size. However, these advances have not yet been realized in the context of surface acoustic wave sensors. In early work, we computed SAW dispersion in patterned surface structures and we confirmed that our finite element computations of SAW dispersion in thin films and in one dimensional surface PnC structures agree with experimental results obtained by laser probe techniques. We analyzed the computations to guide device design in terms of sensitivity and joint spectral operating point. Next we conducted simulations and experiments to determine sensitivity and limit of detection for more conventional dispersive SAW devices and PnC sensors. Finally, we conducted extensive ozone detection trials on passive reflection mode SAW devices, using distinct components of the time dispersed response to compensate for the effect of temperature. The experimental work revealed that the devices may be used for dosimetry applications over periods of several days.